The past few days I have been recalling things from the past. In this battened down world we live in, all climate controlled interiors and automobiles. So much concern over every thing under the sun.
It rained some this week. Not so unusual. Except I never smelled it. Once upon a time, I would smell the rain before it arrived. We lived with open windows and screen doors that were latched at night only to keep the coons out. The wooden door stayed open. When a rain shower or storm was approaching, we could hear the thunder and smell the rain coming, I miss that.
This evening, I determined to sit outside as long as the mosquitoes would allow. As the evening faded to dusk, bright thunderheads billowed above darker clouds to the east. A rumble of thunder sounded. It didn’t come close enough to smell it.
I could hear the shrieks of children playing in the neighborhood. That used to be us in this very place.
The cicadas and crickets and frogs sang a deafening chorus. Shadows darkened. The evening sky was still pale. A dark flicker appeared. Bats! A couple of bats danced across the sky.
A made my way into the house reluctantly. Wanting to stay out in the coming darkness. Needing to come in and get ready for bed. I wanted to check on him, too.
He works painfully long hours. His day job and then the cows, along with all the other chores that living requires, makes for one tired fella.
I’m not much of a cow dog for him, but I get out there and try to move the way he says. We started the morning doing just that. They all loaded right up for a trip to the vet for shots. Lucky me!
I keep trying to find the magic in the ordinary. Most days I find one or two things. Some days, I come up blank. Some days, every thing feels magic.
Sometimes writing this feels like the man in the old Dunkin Donuts commercial. “Time to make the donuts…” as he drags out of bed well before the rest of the world of is awake.
I pull up my word document and begin typing. I don’t know what will come out or where it will go. That is the interesting part. What am I thinking today? What am I feeling? The posts are definitely of the moment. If I am having a bad time of it at the moment, the post is sad. If I am having a good time of it at the moment, the post is happy.
I am feeling simply quiet. Today was a holiday for me from work. Texas Independence Day. I have spent the weekend moving forward. Friday, I picked up some novels at the used book store, a couple of movies on DVD at buy one get one free. I replaced the quilts on our bed with new ones. I read one of the books on Saturday. We visited a new church on Sunday. My wash is done up. I have a menu plan working for the week. My clothes outfits are planned for the work week. The house is tidy. Supper is cooked. Dishes pending.
I would say I have had an orchid kind of weekend. Not every weekend is full of outings and people. I am very pleased with the things I have accomplished. No. I did not get it all done. There are still some things I have not completed. But, I feel rested and content. Isn’t that a good thing for the end of a weekend?
I have made some plans to maintain forward motion. I love to make lists. I have made yet another list of simple things to remember to do when I am not moving forward. Things like: assemble the next meal’s ingredients, lay out my clothes for the next day, read a book. My 9 to 5 has enough challenge and stress. I need simple things at home.
I hope starting March this way sets a pattern for the month. I need space to rest and turn off my whirlwind thoughts. I had a restful time. The plan is to have a productive week at work and at home. And naturally there is a plan B, C and D. Not really. I just try to remain flexible and adjust as the days flow.
I continue to work on ways to better care for him. He is my priority. It may not seem like it sometimes. I try to look put together for him. I try to cook better for him. I try to keep up with my chores for him. Clean clothes, clean dishes, a tidy home, groceries bought, meals cooked. Yes. It is old-fashioned. But, I have the time, talent, knowledge, and the heart’s desire to do it. I do it for me as well. But, I do it differently because of him. I can’t quite explain how it is different than if it was just for me. But it is. Simply because I love him with all my heart. I want him to have a long, happy, healthy life. I will continue to do whatever I can to contribute to that life.
Now don’t get yourself worked up about animal cruelty. It is only an expression. Granny Sally and Mother used to call a certain kind of house cleaning washing the cat out with dash. There was a washing detergent called Dash. I don’t know if it is still made or not.
To wash the cat out with dash means to really deep clean the house. Not spring cleaning exactly, but still very thorough. It seems I used to be able to do it in half a day. The entire house would be dusted, vacuumed, mopped. The bathrooms scoured, the kitchen shiny, the washing done up.
Today(Saturday), I got some cleaning done. The house looks good. The floors and kitchen are done. The wash is clean. But, I have more to do.
Even when the children were small, it didn’t seem to take so long. Of course, I was home full time and twenty-something years old. Many things got taken care of as I went along. I could get busy and get the shine on pretty quickly.
Also, I had a room separate from the rest of the house that held projects and stored sewing and crafting supplies and equipment. I had a small shed to house a lot of boxes of stuff as well.
In this house, I have eight closets, generous pantry shelves, large bathroom cabinets. I also have an attic that holds quite a bit. I fret over them having things in them that may not need to be there. What if I have too many Christmas decorations? What if I have too many purses in storage? What if I have too many never to be used arts and crafts supplies and tools? As I look around my home, I wonder do I have too many decorative items? Too much furniture? I don’t even want to think about my overflowing bookcase. Books are precious to me. I love books. Nook can’t replace the tactile experience of paper and ink books.
I am trying to break the thought process that leads to the fretting. Whose business is it anyway? As long as he doesn’t mind, and I like the way it is, who else matters? What hovers in the dark memory of my past that makes my mind go off on that path? I think I know what it is. When I was young, not yet a teenager, an elderly man made a comment to me that hurt my feelings in a way that I still stings sometimes. He criticized me for allowing my room to be a mess. My mother was never one to force the room cleaning issue. She might mention it and then just close my door so she didn’t see the mess when she went past.
When I became a homemaker, the nagging feeling of shame haunted me. I think that is why I have never allowed personal things to sit on tables. Books, notebooks, nail file, a bottle of polish, pens, markers, lotion, those types of things, I don’t allow myself to leave sitting in the public areas of my home. The bathroom counter is always free of bottles, combs, hair bands. A soap dispenser or dish with soap is all that I allow. Kitchen counters are as clear as I can make them without too much inconvenience. No canister sets, toaster, bread box, etc. sit on the counters. Even in my bedroom there are no collections of toiletries or stacks of magazines. Our bedroom has a lot of furniture and most of my treasures, relics and trinkets. Even those are boxed up and put away when I feel suffocated by them.
Less is more for me. Less stuff to clean and clean around means more time and energy to play and to laze around daydreaming. Two of my favorite things to do. Although, I do love to get busy and wash the cat out with dash some days. That freshness of a washed up house is wonderfully relaxing. That sense of accomplishment silences a ghost voice I am still trying to banish. I like doing it just for the joy it gives me.
A huge almost empty room. Natural light illuminating everything. Sumptuous bed. Beautiful plant or flower. Great book to read. Cup of steaming black coffee. Sounds like paradise to me. How do I get there?